A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Waiting with Patience: A Lectionary Reflection on James 5:7-10

James 5:7-10

I learned vegetable gardening from my grandfather. He was a master gardener. And even though he could water his crops in dry weather and feed them in the midst of a difficult season, I learned from him that creation was ultimately in control of the harvest... the yield.

In all the years I have planted vegetables I can say that no matter how much one waters in drought, and no matter how one feeds in blight, there is something about creation and its processes, its musings, that help or hurt a harvest.

James indicates clearly that any good farmer knows these things. Whether the rain is early or late, the water from the sky is better than anything else. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that a rain will bring vibrancy to a crop that the water from a hose will not. Timothy Smith writes,
Many of us struggle with being patient. We want what we want when we want it and do not like to wait. Elementary school teachers will tell us that the week before Christmas break the children are overly excited and can barely concentrate on their lessons as they day dream of opening their presents on Christmas Day. We want to hurry up and get to Christmas and skip the preliminaries. Our impatience tempts us to take short cuts that ultimately dilute the experience.
Advent is here. We must not miss the experience of Advent preparation so that we can get to the gift of Christmas. Christmas will come, soon enough. Again, Smith observes,
Farmers know what it is to wait patiently. They cultivate their fields, plant seeds, and wait for rain and sun to nurture their crops. An entire harvest can be either helped or hindered by weather conditions. Not enough rain and there is no crop to harvest. Too much rain can ruin and destroy what was planted. The farmer plants and then trusts that God will provide.
Christmas will come. God has promised that it will. But for now we must prepare. We must wait patiently in this Advent and prepare the way for the Lord, our Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Patience is indispensable.

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